Newer, upgraded site planned for SDSU

Julie M. Frank

Julie M. Frank

A new SDSU Web site will launch next summer catering to users’ personal needs.

“Ideas come and go. You focus on one and it has a shelf life and then comes time to change,” said Dr. Mike Adelaine, vice president for information technology.

Marysz Rames, vice president of student affairs, said developing the new Web site “is not an over night process.” The production process goes through three phases: input, design and technology.

Currently production is in the input stage. Focus groups will be conducted among faculty, students, staff and alumni to identify what the users want.

“The key is to continue to work with students and what they want,” Rames said. “That’s the trick.”

Details and total cost of the project are still being worked out. The new Web site will be paid for with university dollars.

“We strongly feel the need to invest in this,” Rames said.

The new Web site’s format will differ from the current one and will focus on undergraduate and graduate students, said Adelaine.

A page will also be provided for external and potential student users.

“Our hope is the Web site will be the face of the university to outside users,” Rames said.

Under that face will be portals for students and staff to access. The separate portals will provide easier navigation by “packaging” items. This way, users will have direct access to pages they need and won’t have to sift through pages that don’t pertain to them.

MyState Online use has increased since its debut last year and will serve as the students’ portal. It will continue to display events, announcements, links and support services. Another perk is that students will be able to view open computers in labs without leaving their rooms. Students will also be able to customize their MyState Online.

The staff’s portal will be called Inside State.

“All schools are using it [the format],” Rames said. “We’re now figuring out how to use it properly.”

To make the new Web site superior to the old, new software was purchased so managing the site is easier, Adelaine said. New tools such as alerts will help web managers keep the site’s content updated. The new software also allows web managers to change the same information on multiple pages by changing it on one page.

Pages with bigger hits will transfer into the new Web site. Admissions, financial aid and athletics are among those that will make the move.

Students also have elements they would like to see remain and some changes they want on the new site. “It’s not as easy to access things like teachers, links and Web sites for classes,” sophomore nursing major Libby Lemaster said about the current Web site. She would like the new Web site to be easier to navigate.

Other students, like Michelle Poskevhic, a third year nursing student and junior psychology major Whitney Christensen disagree. Both think the current Web site is easy to use and like the direct access to Web Advisor and the library.

Anita Brands, a senior English major, wants to see more updates on the new Web site and a calendar of events. She said since she and her friends live off campus, they are always searching upcoming events.

“I don’t think it’s interesting and flashy as it could be,” said Thomas Westman, a construction management sophomore who likes the look of

Nursing junior Melissa Flannery agrees the Web site should be “spiced up.”